While the undercut looks like it might be a trendy style of today’s times, it actually dates back to the Edwardian era. In a sense you could say it has literally “grown” in popularity among gentlemen over the years.
For men with straight or wavy hair, it’s certainly a fine choice. However, before I jumping into the styling here’s what you should know about this style first:
The original look: Medium length hair parted from the sides or center, with shortly buzzed or clean shaved sides.
The modern look: Medium length to long hair following the classic style, or with the front bangs slicked back. One of the most popular cuts today features a mix of the modern pompadour and undercut. You’ll also find long, lengthy hair combed to one single side among entertainers and beardsmen too.
The history behind the undercut
While it’s true this cut dates back to the Edwardian era, you might be more surprised to know that it was once said to be the poor man’s hairstyle. Back in the 1920’s this style was reserved more for gentlemen of the younger working class, not to mention street gangs and the like. If you consider there’s not a whole lot of blending expertise or finely detailed barber wok involved, you’ll understand why.
However, when the jazz age emerged, it grew favorably in terms of male fashion. Even Wehrmact officers in Nazi Germany could be seen sporting a new, similar style called the bowl cut in the 30s and 40s. Though, in all honestly, it looks more childish and youthful than masculine and classy when cut in that manner.
Fast forward forty years later and we’re in the 1980’s, where all sorts of variations from the undercut are replacing the mullet and combed back hair look among musicians. More recent, in today’s times, the popular 30’s and 40’s version has been soaring in interest among gentlemen. Only, it’s far from the traditional bowl cut style. With pomade in hand, sides are being swept over while the tops are getting lengthier.
How to style it properly:
Ideally, you’ll want thick or wavy hair to start.
Head to the barber after growing a few inches of hair at the top of your head (4 to 6 inches is best), and get the slides buzzed down to #2 or #1. Remember, there’s really no set rules here, but understand the key to this hairstyle is a deep contrast between the upper and lower areas of the scalp. The same goes for the back of your head too.
From there, simply slick it on back or to the side at an angle; the choice is entirely yours. For your grooming product selection pomade and wax work great, however consider reading this guide first: Pomade vs Wax vs Gel
You’ll want to generally trim it up every two to four weeks to keep it looking sharp, otherwise things will smooth out.
With that said, go ahead and explore these top 60 best undercut hairstyles for men below. You’ll get better idea of how creative you can truly get with this manly style.